I made what I now realise was the terrible error of changing newspapers today. Instead of my usual Herald I bought a Guardian. Frankly the day has been down hill ever since. As I'm sure you are all aware the government have decided to reform the prostitution laws in England and Wales. Naturally my least favourite feminist Julie Bindel has plenty to say on the subject, nothing new of course just the usual men are evil abusive scumbags and women are dainty flowers in need of protection. Am I alone in being amused by a feminist holding such a quaint, almost Victorian view of women?
I have of course ranted about Ms Bindel before but that was a while ago and I feel another kicking coming on. Every word she says irritates me on some level not least her entirely irrational belief that women should have total control of their bodies when it comes to abortion but should be prevented by law from working in the sex industry. To make things easier I have numbered her most irritating quotes below.
1. '....prostitution is a form of violence against women.'
Oh dear God! Other than self-defence violence is an outrage which should not be tolerated in a civilised society. Comments like the above by Ms Bindel trivialise violence by vastly over extending it's definition to include the sale of sex. It is also total crap. I would be more than happy to meet with Bindel and demonstate the difference between prostitution and violence.
2.' If the UK, like Sweden, provided readily available drug and alcohol rehabilitation, safe housing and protection from pimps then most women would leave prostitution.'
Sorry to be pedantic but most women are neither prostitutes nor drug addicts and therefore have no need to leave prostitution. I presume what she is trying to say is that most prostitutes would leave prostitution if they received the help they need. Why do Julie and her ilk never mention male prostitution? Perhaps because it undermines her ludicrous assertion that prostitution is violence against women. I'm quite sure that most street prostitutes who come to the attention of the authorities are drug addicts or being abused and exploited, but does anyone know if these are representative of most prostitutes? Is it beyond Ms Bindel's imagination that there are women working as prostitutes who exercise a bit of discretion and never come to the attention of the authorities? As Camille Paglia once rightly pointed out you can't use amateurs to damn a whole profession.
3. '...... children[in Sweden] are now growing up with an understanding that women's bodies are not commodities to be bought and sold, and that prostitution is an infringement of human rights'
I realise people are a bit more open about these things in Sweden but I can't say I spent much of my childhood thinking about prostitution. I am also unclear as to why people persist in using the phrase 'selling womens bodies'. A prostitute is no more selling their body than a professional footballer or a manual worker. They are selling a service.
4. 'The customers have more or less reconciled themselves to the fact that women in Sweden are not for sale.'
Well not according to Pye Jacobsen (Swedish Prostitutes Collective)
'People on the street, that is the most vulnerable, have been hit hardest. The good clients are gone, only the bad clients are left. Before the women can say no to the bad dangerous clients, and they had a thirty second period to talk with them before they jumped into the car -- they can’t afford that any more. The police, social workers, everybody says violence has increased.'
Not of course that Ms Bindel would acknowledge that a mere sex worker might know more about prostitution than her. Bindel has no interest in women other than those she can present as victims to support her ludicrous arguments.
5. 'Prostitution can never be safe. If a buyer decides he wants to hurt a woman, he will simply take her away from the CCTV cameras.'
Yes and I bet he twirls his moustache as he does so! Working with the public in any capacity can never be safe. You will also note that the customer 'will simply take her away'. Unless we are talking about drugged or comatose women I would suggest that there is nothing simple about forcing an adult female to go somewhere against her will. However over in Bindelworld the possibility of a woman putting up a struggle or taking a bit of responsibility for her own safety is never considered.
I could go on the entire article is hogwash from start to finish. I totally resent that dogmatic fool talking about adult women as if they are particularly stupid three year olds. If a man used that patronising tone when writing about women he would be placed in the stocks and pelted with rotten fruit for his misogyny.